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Posts Tagged ‘Orion’s Belt’

01/19/2018 – Ephemeris – Orion’s large hunting dog

January 19, 2018 Comments off

Ephemeris for Friday, January 19th. The Sun will rise at 8:14. It’ll be up for 9 hours and 19 minutes, setting at 5:33. The Moon, 3 days past new, will set at 8:15 this evening.

The brightest star-like object in the evening sky is Sirius, also known as the Dog Star. It also is the brightest night-time star in our skies period. Tonight at 9 p.m. it’s located low in the southeastern sky. The Dog Star name comes from its position at the heart of the constellation Canis Major, the great dog of Orion the hunter, which is seen almost like he’s begging, feet to the right. The three stars of Orion’s belt tilt to the southeast and point to Sirius. The name Sirius means ‘Scorcher’, a reference to its great brilliance and twinkling. To me it has a blue tinge like an arc light in a telescope. Its Egyptian name was Sothis, and its appearance in the dawn skies in late June signaled the flooding of the Nile, and the beginning of the Egyptian agricultural year.

The times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.

Addendum

Orion and Canis Major

Orion and Canis Major Animation for 9 p.m. tonight. Created using Stellarium and GIMP.

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12/11/2017 – Ephemeris – Orion rising

December 11, 2017 1 comment

Ephemeris for Monday, December 11th. The Sun will rise at 8:09. It’ll be up for 8 hours and 52 minutes, setting at 5:02. The Moon, 1 day past last quarter, will rise at 2:22 tomorrow morning.

Off in the east-southeast at 9 in the evening the great constellation of Orion will be seen. This is the most famous of all constellations world-wide. We think the Big Dipper is a big deal. It’s not even a constellation, being the hind end of the great bear Ursa Major. Also it’s invisible if one travels far enough south of the equator. Orion is now a rectangle of stars tilted to the left as he rises. With three stars in a straight line in the center, his belt. They are aligned nearly vertically. Orion is a giant hunter. The rectangle depicts his shoulders and knees. Among its other bright stars Orion contains two of the brightest. The upper left star is the famous red giant star Betelgeuse. The lower left star is the blue-white super giant Rigel.

The times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.

Addenda

Orion Rising

Orion fully risen in the east-southeast a 9 p,m, approximately 4 hours after sunset, December 11. Created using Stellarium and GIMP.

Note to Blog readers

As you probably know these posts are transcripts of my Ephemeris program.  The length of the program is exactly 59 seconds, and the first paragraph takes approximately 14 of those seconds.  So I don’t have much time for the topic at hand.  Therefore I dole out information in rather small spoonfuls.  I’ll be revisiting Orion many times over the winter, talking about the other stars, and wonders found among its stars, also its mythology.   If you can’t wait, type Orion in the search bar for all the past programs on Orion.  Don’t be surprised that much of the programs don’t change much from year to year.  I post the week’s worth of Ephemeris program MP3s on my monthly website http://ephemeris.bjmoler.org/ under the Audio link.

Sunday night and into the wee hours of Monday morning is the time I usually write and record the programs for Tuesday through the next Monday.  Blog postings are prepared the night before the air date.

 

12/04/2017 – Ephemeris – Orion rising in the moonlight

December 4, 2017 1 comment

Ephemeris for Monday, December 4th. The Sun will rise at 8:02. It’ll be up for exactly 9 hours, setting at 5:02. The Moon, 1 day past full, will rise at 6:32 this evening.

Now that the Moon is quite bright and making the fainter stars in the constellations harder to find, let’s look at one of the bright stars of Winter. Tonight at 8 p.m. the bright reddish star Betelgeuse is low in the east, but will be rising higher and moving slightly southward, as the rest of the bright stars in its constellation of Orion the hunter also clear the horizon. To its right are a nearly vertical line of three equally spaced stars, Orion’s belt. Betelgeuse is in Orion’s shoulder. The name Betelgeuse is a corruption of the Arabic phrase “Armpit of the Central One”, although there’s some debate about that translation. Betelgeuse is maybe only 7 million years old, but due to its great mass of up to 20 times that of the Sun, is already dying.

The times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.

Addendum

Orion rising

Orion rising in the light of a super moo at 8 p.m.,, about 3 hours after sunset, December 4, 2017. Created using Stellarium.

11/20/2017 – Ephemeris – The Moon is near Saturn tonight and the approaching signs of winter

November 20, 2017 1 comment

Ephemeris for Monday, November 20th. The Sun will rise at 7:46. It’ll be up for 9 hours and 23 minutes, setting at 5:09. The Moon, 2 days past new, will set at 7:04 this evening.

Tonight the two day old Moon will appear near Saturn. The ringed planet will appear to the left and a bit below the thin crescent Moon before they set about an hour later. The approaching winter season and the resumption of standard time have dropped sunset to 5:09 in the Interlochen/Traverse City area. Our sunset will drop another 11 minutes before slowly recovering 19 days from now. Two to three hours later another sign of the approaching winter season will appear, as the constellation of the giant hunter Orion rises in the east. He is resplendent with his nearly vertical belt of three stars rising, framed to the left and right by the bright stars reddish Betelgeuse and bluish Rigel. He will dominate our evening skies until April.

The times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.

Addendum

Saturn and the Moon

The Moon and Saturn at 6 p.m. November 20, 2017. Created using Stellarium.

Orion rising

Finder chart for the rising Orion at 9 p.m., November 30, 2017. Created using Stellarium and GIMP.

01/28/2016 – Ephemeris – This post has gone to the dogs

January 28, 2016 Comments off

Ephemeris for Thursday, January 28th.  The Sun will rise at 8:06.  It’ll be up for 9 hours and 38 minutes, setting at 5:45.   The Moon, 3 days before last quarter, will rise at 10:42 this evening.

The great winter constellation or star group Orion the Hunter, is located in the southern sky at 9:30 p.m.  His elongated rectangle of a torso is vertical.  In the center of the rectangle are three stars in a line that make his belt.  As a hunter, especially one of old, he has two hunting dogs.  The larger, Canis Major can be found by following the three belt stars of Orion down and to the left.  There lies the brilliant star called Sirius, also known as the Dog Star.  It’s in the heart of a stick figure dog facing Orion that appears to be begging.  The smaller dog can be found by extending a line through Orion’s shoulder stars to the left.  We find a bright star called Procyon.  It and one other star make up the hot-dog shaped constellation of Canis Minor, the little dog.

Times are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.

Addendum

Orion and his hunting dogs

Orion and his hunting dogs revealed in animation. Created with Stellarium and GIMP.

12/15/2015 – Ephemeris – Procyon the star that’s “Before the dog”

December 15, 2015 Comments off

Ephemeris for Tuesday, December 15th.  The Sun will rise at 8:13.  It’ll be up for 8 hours and 49 minutes, setting at 5:02.   The Moon, 3 days before first quarter, will set at 9:48 this evening.

Visible low in the east at 9:30 p.m. appears the star Procyon to its lower left is Sirius the brightest night-time star.  Procyon is the bright star in the constellation Canis Minor, or lesser dog.  I can find only one other star in Canis Minor.  Perhaps it’s a hot dog.  If Sirius, in Canis major is the Dog Star then Procyon should be the Little Dog Star.  However Procyon is an interesting name.  It means “Before the dog”, which is an allusion to the fact that Procyon, though east of Sirius actually rises before it.  This is due to Procyon’s more northerly position.  This effect doesn’t work south of the equator, however.  Sirius will rise at about 9 tonight.  Procyon is a star much like Sirius but is 32% farther away.  It’s 11.4 to Sirius’ 8.6 light years away.

Times are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.

Addendum

Procyon, Sirius and the stars of winter. Created using Stellarium

Procyon, Sirius and the stars of winter. Created using Stellarium

In the above chart, beside the constellation lines, we have the grid of right ascension, from lower left to upper right; and declination, from upper left to lower right.  right ascension lines are like longitude on the Earth, while declination lines are latitude lines.  They are tipped because I don’t live at either the equator or one of the poles.  As the Earth rotates the Sun, stars and planets slide westward in the direction of the declination lines.  Note that Sirius is closer to the horizon than Procyon.  Also that Sirius is west of the 7 hour right ascension line. (Take my word for it.)  Procyon is  east of that line, thus Sirius is west of Procyon.

Other cool things can be seen in the chart.  Note the declination line that touches the horizon at the east compass point and runs just above Orion’s belt.  It is 0º declination, or the celestial equator.  It extends to the west compass point on the western horizon.  The Sun on the equinoxes will rise due east and set due west.  The 6 hour right ascension line runs past Betelgeuse in Orion.  At 23½º north declination, near Castor’s big toe in Gemini is where the Sun appears on the first day of summer, the summer solstice.

P.S. It was cloudy and rainy the last two days.  Didn’t see a Geminid meteor again this year, keeping my record intact.

11/30/2015 – Ephemeris – Orion Rising

November 30, 2015 Comments off

Ephemeris for Monday, November 30th.  The Sun will rise at 7:58.  It’ll be up for 9 hours and 5 minutes, setting at 5:04.   The Moon, 3 days before last quarter, will rise at 10:12 this evening.

We have a few hours of darkness tonight before the Moon comes up.  In the east the central winter constellation Orion the hunter throws a leg over the horizon between 8 and 9 p.m. as Robert Frost told in his poem Star-Splitter.  The upright rectangle that is his body on January evenings is tilted to the left as he rises, with bright red star Betelgeuse at the top left of the rectangle, his shoulder.  At the opposite corner is blue-white Rigel, a knee.  In the center of the rectangle is a line of three stars nearly vertically aligned, which represents Orion’s belt.  Above Orion is another bright orange star at one end of a letter V shape of stars.  That’s Aldebaran the angry eye in the face if Taurus the bull who apparently is none to happy with Orion.

Times are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.

Addendum

Orion Rising

Orion Rising at 8:30 p.m. (3 1/2 hours after sunset) on November 30th. Created using Stellarium.

“You know Orion always comes up sideways.
Throwing a leg up over our fence of mountains,
And rising on his hands, he looks in on me
Busy outdoors by lantern-light with something
I should have done by daylight, and indeed,
After the ground is frozen, I should have done
Before it froze, and a gust flings a handful
Of waste leaves at my smoky lantern chimney
To make fun of my way of doing things,
Or else fun of Orion’s having caught me.
Has a man, I should like to ask, no rights
These forces are obliged to pay respect to?”
 From Robert Frost’s The Star-splitter.